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FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR

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Agency: Department of Energy
Program/Year: Both / 2014
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000969
Release Date: August 12, 2013
Open Date: August 12, 2013
Close Date: October 15, 2013
Description: The Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES), within the DOEs Office of Science, is responsible for current and future user facilities including synchrotron radiation, free electron lasers, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). This topic seeks the development of detector technology to support these user facilities.
b: Vacuum and Infrared-Blocking Windows for Cryogenic X-ray Spectrometers
Description: Cryogenic X-ray spectrometers, such as transition-edge-sensor (TES) microcalorimeters, are of growing importance at synchrotron light sources. This class of detector combines the efficient X-ray collection of a silicon-drift detector with energy resolution approaching that of a crystal- or grating-based spectrometer. Important applications are X-ray emission spectroscopy, partial-fluorescence-yield NEXAFS, and energy-resolved scattering-momentum experiments. Emerging cryogenic detector technologies include TESs as well as microwave kinetic-inductance detectors (MKIDs), magnetic calorimeters (mag-cals), and superconducting tunnel junctions (STJs). These technologies share the common architecture of a pixelated active area that must be held at extreme cryogenic temperatures (~0.050.3 K). In the case of TESs, expansion to kilopixel-scale arrays with total active areas of hundreds of mm^2 is a near-term goal. Because the cryogenic-sensing elements must be able to observe ambient-temperature samples, X-ray-transmitting windows are a critical enabling technology. Here we solicit development of a type of X-ray windows that has high transmission in the soft-X-ray band of 2501000 eV (K lines of organics and L lines of transition metals): vacuum interfaces. Present, commercially available, high-transmission vacuum windows are made from Beryllium or grid-backed polymers. Those that will support an atmosphere with good transmission down to 250 eV are limited to a diameter of about 10mm. We seek designs with larger active areas. A possibility is a planar window array that could contain multiple, gridded active areas separated by thin support struts we envision that each sub-window might have an open area of 2550 mm^2 and the sub-windows might be separated by supports that are several mm wide-thick. Other ideas are encouraged. The awardee would be expected to develop window designs in coordination with developers of cryogenic sensors (such as ANL or NIST) so that the active areas of the windows and the detector arrays can be matched. Window designs that will support ~0.1 atmosphere (in either direction) with much larger active areas are also sought. Improved vacuum-interface windows would also be applicable to conventional, semiconducting x-ray sensors.
c: One Micrometer Resolution Structured Scintillators for Hard X-ray Image Detection
Description: High energy (roughly 30-90 keV) x-rays at synchrotron light sources provide unique information on polycrystallinity and failure modes in lightweight structural materials for advanced transportation applications [1], and on the details of atom bonding in crystalline materials being developed for improved catalytic [2] and energy storage applications [3]. These applications require large area detectors (e.g., > 10 cm2), and spatial resolution ranging from 20-200 microns. Achieving very high spatial resolution at high energies while maintaining high detector quantum efficiency (DQE) is particularly challenging. We are seeking proposals to develop new approaches to large area detectors at high energies in this size range with high DQE and 10,000:1 dynamic range so that x-ray diffraction spots can be recorded simultaneously with diffuse scattering. Frame rates in excess of one image per second are required, and approaches that can in principle be scaled up to 100 Hz or higher frame rates are preferred as well as approaches that allow multiple detectors to work with synchronized data acquisition. Detectors with these characteristics are needed by the Department of Energys Scientific User Facilities, and will enable new capabilities in the study of materials in the fields such as chemistry, materials science, and transportation systems engineering including the development of advanced jet aircraft engines.
d: Other
Description: In addition to the specific subtopics listed above, the Department invites grant applications in other areas that fall within the scope of the topic description above.